Once again, I am pleased to present The Exclusive, written by Rachel McLean of the duo of RS Exclusive. Part One of this posting can be viewed by clicking here, and we hope you enjoy this look into wedding etiquette.
Wedding Etiquette (Part Two)
As event planners, we are constantly asked our opinion on what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to the details leading up to, and surrounding, the wedding day. While there are innumerable questions that can be addressed when it comes to the topic of wedding etiquette, we’ve compiled of few of the ones we get asked most. We hope they provide you with some added insight and direction when making decisions for your big day.
Wedding invitations are the first opportunity you have to show your guests your personal taste and style, and proper etiquette continues to dictate they are tangible, never virtual. If money is an issue, there are many budget-friendly printed invitation options available, as well as some great DIY projects for those who enjoy the opportunity to get crafty.
If you’re really on a shoe-string budget, sending out an electronic Save the Date is acceptable, but be sure to send a hard-copy of your invitation to anyone on your list who may not be web-savvy, and remember that anyone who receives a virtual invite must also be sent your official invitation.
If your RSVP date is rapidly approaching, and many of your guests still have yet to reply, don’t panic. Enlist members of your family or bridal party to make “courtesy reminder calls” about a week out from your RSVP date. As it is not unusual to have a few last-minute guests show up, it is wise to plan accordingly with your wedding planner and caterer for adequate seating and food.
Adult Only Wedding
Whether for cost or to create a more formal atmosphere, many couples opt for an adult only affair. The most successful way to communicate this to your guests is to print “Adult Reception” on your invitation, and list only the names of those guests invited. However, be prepared to field calls from friends and family asking for exceptions. If you make the allowance for one family, be prepared for the possibility of hurt feelings from others where an allowance wasn’t made.
Today’s families come in all shapes and sizes, and no one has to feel left out, or alone. Close to both your father and step-father? It’s perfectly appropriate (should you desire) to include both in the wedding ceremony. Based on your situation, a brother, special friend, or close relative can also stand in this position. Your decision comes down to what is most meaningful to you, and what is most honoring to the ones you love.
While many modern brides forego a traditional receiving line in an effort to save a large chunk of time, we do encourage you and your new spouse to make time during the reception to make brief visits to each guest table. Your guests will no doubt appreciate the opportunity to congratulate you in person, and it allows you a moment to thank your guests for making the effort to attend and support you. This can also be a great way to hand-deliver your wedding favors to your guests!
For small, intimate weddings, seating charts aren’t necessary. However, with a larger guest count, arranged seating can alleviate the awkwardness of table shuffling and help you to avoid any sticky situations (i.e. divorced parents).
For couples who don’t drink, there is nothing wrong with foregoing liqueur. If money is the concern, consider featuring a signature drink and forego the expense of an open bar. In any case, having a cash bar is never okay at a wedding. There are many ways to save money (without sacrificing style or taste) when it comes to your beverages, however, asking your guests to pay isn’t one of them.
Not into cake? Serve something else. The sky is really the limit when it comes to your featured dessert. Be creative and have fun finding the right dessert that says “you.” Should you still want to include a traditional cake-cutting element, you can always opt for a personal-sized bride and groom cake to have in addition to your other sweet selections.
Again, many thanks to RS Exclusive, who will also be presenting a session on being the bride and really enjoying your wedding day at Bliss, a fine wedding fair on Saturday … it’s coming up soon, so be sure to register!
Photos are all from Flickr from the following sources from top to bottom: lacey.h, jaydaonline, blush**, C@tch, normadeanphotography, claireken, YouDidntDidYou, Albee’s Garden Parties, and mr & mrs griffiths.